Dr Maxine Carinna Elizabeth Lewis

BA (Hons) (Newcastle) , PhD (Sydney)


I am a Senior Lecturer in Classics and Ancient History, and the Assistant Dean (Equity) in the Faculty of Arts.

I trained mainly in Australia, also completing part of my PhD at the University of Arizona. I have always been interested in the radical side of "Classics": whether it be women's and slaves' subversions of norms in ancient Greco-Roman times, later political, feminist, and queer responses to the Greco-Roman world, or the potential to use ancient material in the classroom to stimulate debates about our own society. This interest in the rebellious side of Classics has led me to publish on the Roman poet Catullus, queer-inclusive pedagogies for teaching Latin, the censorship of Roman homosexuality in post-Roman works, and feminist responses to the Classics from women writers.

I teach and supervise across the Roman and Greek worlds, with a particular passion for Latin literature, Greco-Roman mythology, and gender and sexuality, both in the Greco-Roman world itself, and later responses to it. In 2020 I received a National Tertiary Teaching Award for Sustained Excellence. You can hear about my teaching in this podcast, hosted by the University of Auckland's Technology for Equitable Learning Opportunities and Design project.

Research | Current

In my research and teaching generally I am particularly interested in spatial theories, allusion and intertextuality, gender and sexuality, and the application of contemporary literary critical theory to study of the ancient world.

  • Latin literature (especially Late Republican, Catullus, and early Augustan)
  • The use of geography, place and space in literature
  • The construction of gender and sexuality in Greek and Roman literature and society
  • Classical Reception Studies, especially creative receptions of Catullus by women
  • Feminist theory and its application to ancient world studies

My most recent work is a co-authored article, with Dr Christina Robertson, on the censorship of homosexuality in Catullus' reception (Antichthon, 2021). Much of my work centres on space and the spatial turn, including two articles on Catullus' spatial poetics out in Paideia in 2019.

Teaching | Current

I teach courses that span material from the Greco-Roman world, across our majors in Classical Studies and Ancient History, Latin, and ancient Greek. In 2022 I am teaching:

ANCIENT 110 Classics Mythology (this course can also be taken as a General Education paper ANCIENT 110G). This course was formerly taught as CLASSICS 110/G.

LATIN 200 Latin Language Acquisition: Intermediate.

LATIN 201/301 Latin Literary Texts: Gendered Voices


Postgraduate supervision

I am available to supervise PhD, Masters, and Honours students. I especially welcome enquiries about topics related to the following areas:

  • Latin literature, especially Catullus, Virgil, Ovid, Propertius, Sulpicia, Juvenal, and Martial
  • Roman history, especially mid-late Republican, Augustan, and imperial
  • Women authors of Greece and Rome
  • Gender and sexuality in Greece and Rome
  • Space and place in antiquity, including the spatial turn
  • Reception of classical texts and myths, especially relating to gender and sexuality
  • Literary and critical theories

My supervisions include:


  • Alecia Bland, PhD. Leadership and the Outbreak of War in Statius, Thebaid 2-4. Co-supervisor (Completed 2018)
  • Caro Crowhurst, PhD. “True of Voice”? The Speech, Actions, and Portrayal of Women in New Kingdom Literary Texts, Dating c.1550 to 1070 B.C. Co-supervisor (Completed 2017)
  • Nova Petrechko, PhD. Magic, Law, and Gender in Late Antiquity. Co-supervisor (Completed 2021)
  • Christina Robertson, PhD. The Poetics of Geography in Ovid’s Metamorphoses. Co-supervisor (Completed 2017)


  • Sinead Brennan-McMahon, MA. Expurgating Martial: Erasing Homosexuality from Anglophone Editions and Commentaries, 1800–2017​ (Completed 2017)
  • Luke Ellery, MA. Polyphemus in Greek and Roman Culture. (Completed 2017)
  • Jennifer Matthews, MA. Imagining Monstrosity: A Comparative Study of Masculine and Feminine Monsters in Ancient Greek Art and Literature. (Completed 2015)
  • Florence Rogers, MA. Women, Freedpeople, Slaves: the Significance of the Capitoline Triad Outside of the Elite-Male Sphere. (Completed 2020)


  • Kate Bodger, Hons. Mother, Wife, Goddess: Thetis in Classical Reception, an Investigation into Female Authored Texts. (Completed 2021)
  • Sinead Brennan-McMahon, Hons. Inconsistency in Catullus’ Poetry. (Completed 2014)
  • Florette Cardon, Hons. So Ran the God and the Maid: Sexual Violence in Ovid’s Metamorphoses. (Completed 2020) 
  • Hebe Kearney, Hons. The Burning Muse: Sappho’s Intentional ‘Female’ Perspective and Its Reception by Four Women Poets. (Completed 2020)
  • Katie Logan, Hons. Author, Persona and Poetic Unity in the Corpus Sulpicianum. (Completed 2017)
  • Jennifer Matthews, Hons. Rediscovering Circe. (Completed 2013)
  • Nicholas Ringwood, Hons. Malae Meretrices? Analysing the Representation of Sex Labourers in the Plautine Corpus.​ (Completed 2019)
  • Gina Robson, Hons. καλόν κακόν; Euripides’ Use of Helen to Explore Issues of Agency, Blame, and Moral Responsibility​. (Completed 2020)


In 2020, I received a National Tertiary Teaching Award for Sustained Excellence (NTTEA) from Ako Aotearoa ($20,000).

I was part of the Ako Arts team which received a 2019 Faculty of Arts Staff Excellence award for Rangatiratanga, for our role piloting Ako-led courses.

In 2016 I was awarded the Faculty of Arts Early Career Excellence in Teaching Award.


Assistant Dean (Equity) Faculty of Arts

Areas of expertise

  • Latin literature (especially Late Republican and early Augustan)
  • Catullus
  • The use of space, place and geography in literature
  • The construction of gender and sexuality in Greek and Roman literature and society
  • Classical Reception Studies, including reception by women writers

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

As of 29 October 2020 there will be no automatic updating of 'selected publications and creative works' from Research Outputs. Please continue to keep your Research Outputs profile up to date.
  • Lewis, M. (2019). Catullus' Callimachean Spatial Poetics. Paideia, rivista di filologia, ermeneutica e critica letteraria, 74 (1-2), 249-275. 10.1400/268542
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/50596
  • Lewis, M. C. (2019). The Production of Space, Time, and Space-Time in Catullus' poem 68. Paideia, rivista rivista di filologia, ermeneutica e critica letteraria, 74 (2), 1375-1403. 10.1400/273679
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/50595
  • Lewis, M. C. (2018). Anna Jackson’s I, Clodia: Catullus, women’s voices, and feminist implications. Classical Receptions Journal, 10 (2), 127-148. 10.1093/crj/clx018
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/40427
  • Lewis, M. C. (2018). Gender, Geography, and Genre: Catullus' Constructions of Lesbia in Space in Time. In W. Fitzgerald, E. Spentzou (Eds.) The Production of Space in Latin Literature (pp. 119-145). Oxford: Oxford University Press. 10.1093/oso/9780198768098.003.0006
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/40706
  • Lewis, M. C. (2017). C. K. Stead writes Catullus: Persona, intention, intratext and allusion. In D. Burton, S. Perris, W. J. Tatum (Eds.) Athens to Aotearoa: Greece and Rome in New Zealand literature and society (pp. 245-266). Wellington, N.Z.: Victoria University Press.
  • Lewis, M. (2016). Uzzi ( J.D.), Thomson ( J.) The Poems of Catullus. An Annotated Translation. Pp. viii + 224. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2015. Cased, £39.99, US$69.99. ISBN: 978-1-107-02855-5. The Classical Review, 66 (2), 596-597. 10.1017/S0009840X16000974
  • Lewis, M. (2016). Catullus' intertextual crossroads: Where theocritus' idyll 15 meets poems 64 and 36. American Journal of Philology, 137 (2), 321-357.
  • Lewis, M. (2014). Queering Catullus in the Classroom: The Ethics of Teaching Poem 63. In N. Rabinowitz, F. McHardy (Eds.) From Abortion to Pederasty: Addressing Difficult Topics in the Classics Classroom (pp. 248-266). Columbus: Ohio State University Press. Related URL.
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/23025


Contact details

Primary office location

ARTS 1 - Bldg 206
Level 8, Room 810
New Zealand

Web links